Rich farmers are likely to be excluded from the loan waiver announced by the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, revealed state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil.
“We have found that the loan waiver scheme introduced previously had benefited the rich farmers largely in Maharashtra. To avoid it, we will set up a high-level committee to omit such rich farmers from the list of beneficiaries. The mechanism for the same will be worked out with the help of the committee,” Patil said.
The government has decided to constitute a high-level committee to implement the scheme and decide on the criteria of debt relief.
Patil said the committee was being formed to stop rich farmers from benefiting. The previous loan waiver package (2007-08) had benefited many rich farmers.
“It is the victory of farmers’ rights that they would get loan waiver at the right time. The state government is also keen on increasing the purchase price of milk by co-operative societies from farmers. It will benefit the milk producing farmers and their income would go up,” Patil said.
Meanwhile, Raju Shetti, Lok Sabha member and leader of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana which is an ally of the BJP, said the steering committee had demanded implementation of the loan waiver scheme before the commencement of the Monsoon Session of the state legislature.
“If the government fails to do so, we will again call for an agitation,” Shetti warned.
On June 1, farmers from a village in Ahmednagar district went on strike followed by many groups of cultivators in other parts of the state suspended vegetable and milk supply to Mumbai.
On Sunday the Maharashtra government agreed to waive off farm loans to appease the agitating farmers after a meeting with them. After the announcement, the farmers called off their protests.
(With inputs from PTI)